Writers on the Mic: Sheree Renée Thomas, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, and Robert Collins in the Magic City — This Thursday (7 PM) @discobirmingham!

We’re pleased to again join forces with the Nitty Gritty Magic City Reading Series and the Desert Island Supply Company (with an able culinary assist from the good folks at Church Street) to host “Writers on the Mic” this month. Here’s the deets:

  • Who: Sheree Renée Thomas | Jenny Sadre-Orafai | Robert Collins [Scroll down below the break for more about these fine writers, including bio material and related links…]
  • What: Poetry! Fiction (speculative and otherwise)! Hybridity! Books! (And music and food and drink, oh my!)
  • When: Thursday – Feb 8 |Doors – 7 pm | Show starts at 7:30 pm
  • Where: DISCO | 5500 1st Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35212
  • Why: Because art saves the world. Every time. But don’t take our word for it: just ask the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, who have generously supported this program for precisely that reason.

And now, a few more words about our esteemed guests:

Sheree Renée Thomas is an award-winning author and editor. Her multigenre-crossing writing explores ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances and her editorial work uncovered a legacy of over a century of black science fiction writing.  Her multigenre collection Sleeping Under the Tree of Life (Aqueduct Press) was named a 2016 James Tiptree, Jr. Award “Worthy” book and Shotgun Lullabies (2011) was described as “a revelatory work like Jean Toomer’s Cane.” Thomas’s Dark Matter volumes won two World Fantasy Awards for Year’s Best Anthology (Warner Aspect, 2001, 2005). Thomas was the first black writer to receive the World Fantasy Award since its inception in 1975, and in 2017 she was named as the first recipient of the L. A. Banks Award for Outstanding Achievement. She is the Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed historic journal, Obsidian. She was the Lucille Geier Lakes Writer in Residence at Smith College and has been honored with fellowships from Cave Canem, The Millay Colony of the Arts, Wallace Foundation, VCCA, Ledig House, Blue Mountain Center, New York Foundation of the Arts, Poets & Writers, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. A multiple Pushcart-nominated author with Honorable Mentions in The Year’s Best annuals, including the 2017 Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy, her widely published stories and poems appear in the New York Times, ESSENCE, Apex Magazine, Harvard’s Transition, Callaloo, Sycorax’s Daughters, Memphis Noir, and Mojo Rising: Contemporary Writers. Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Thomas studied at Rhodes, worked in publishing and curated arts programs in New York City, and now writes in her hometown. She is currently editing a new speculative fiction anthology, Trouble the Waters: Tales from the Deep Blue, forthcoming 2018 from Rosarium. Click here for an interview with Sheree in Apex Magazine: Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.

Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of MalakPaperCottonLeather, and five chapbooks. Her poetry has appeared in Cream City ReviewNinth LetterThe Cortland Review, Hotel Amerika, The Pinch, and other journals. Her prose has appeared in Los Angeles ReviewThe RumpusSouth Loop ReviewFourteen HillsThe Collagist, and other journalsShe is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly, an Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University, and Executive Director of Georgia Writers Association. Click here for an interview with Jenny on the Poetry Society of America’s web site.

Born in New Jersey, Robert Collins was educated in Ohio, where he received his A.B. from Xavier University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. While at OSU he received two Academy of American Poets Prizes. He has published poems in a variety of literary magazines including AscentCimarron ReviewHiram Poetry ReviewLouisville ReviewConnecticut ReviewCollege EnglishPlainsongsSouth Coast Poetry JournalOhio JournalSouthern Humanities ReviewPrairie SchoonerShenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review. He has received two Individual Artists Fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 1993 and 1998, been nominated for a Pushcart Prize several times, received the Ascent Award for Poetry, selected by Brendan Galvin, and won the Tennessee Chapbook Prize. He taught American literature and creative writing at the University of Alabama in Birmingham for thirty years where he founded and edited Birmingham Poetry Review and directed the creative writing program. His chapbooks include The Inventor PoemsGreatest HitsThe Glass BlowerLives We Have Chosen, and Occasions of Sin.  His book, Naming the Dead, was issued by FutureCycle Press in 2012 and was a finalist for the FCP Annual Book Prize. Click here for some sample poems from Bob’s latest collection, Drinking with the Second Shift.

Alabama Humanities Foundation


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